ITV, the channel behind Soccer Aid for UNICEF, announces a brand new one off cycling show – all in the name of charity. On Yer Bike is a co-production between Crackit Productions and Initial TV, in association with Soccer Aid, to help raise money and awareness for UNICEF.
The 90-minute special will be hosted by presenter and cricketing icon Freddie Flintoff with the whole event spearheaded by cycling legend Sir Bradley Wiggins, the UK’s most decorated Olympian and first British winner of the Tour De France.
This one-off, primetime special will ride on the coat tails of the 2021 summer of sport and comes in light of the news that UK bikes sales were up by 63% in the summer of 2020 as the country pedalled its way through the pandemic.
In support of Soccer Aid for UNICEF, which takes place on Saturday 4 September 2021, this cycling spectacle will aim to raise money to help UNICEF deliver 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines around the world and help children get back to school, beat malnutrition and get the healthcare they need both today and long after the crisis is over.
Eight celebrities in two teams, England versus the World, will go head to head over three cycling legs, all set in the gorgeous and dramatic backdrop of rural Yorkshire.
The England team comprises of Coronation Street actress Sair Khan, actor Barney Walsh, Good Morning Britain’s Alex Beresford and Emmerdale favourite Rebecca Sarker. The World team will feature comedian Zoe Lyons, actor Joe McFadden, Love Island star Maura Higgins and singer Keith Duffy.
The teams will ride in a peloton for each of the three timed stages and the last celebrity in each team to cross the line, will clock the final time. Who will impress Sir Bradley with their cycling skills? Who will be wheelie bad at keeping up with the pack?
This show will form part of Soccer Aid for UNICEF week on ITV – a whole week of extra programming including bespoke commissions and special celebrity versions of ITV’s favourite shows – all in aid of Soccer Aid for UNICEF, as it celebrates it’s centenary match. On Yer Bike will air on ITV and ITV Hub later this summer.
Freddie Flintoff said: “This show has it has it all – it’s challenging, it’s competitive and it’s all for a good cause. Seeing celebrities in Lycra tackling the enormous hills of the Yorkshire Dales promises to be a real treat for everyone watching from their sofas!”
Sir Bradley Wiggins said: “I’m thrilled ITV have commissioned a show around cycling, it’s great to be able to share my passion with so many people. It’s also a great opportunity to show off the glorious Yorkshire Dales – a tough route I’ve cycled many times. I can’t wait to put the celebrities through their paces and see who will shine and who needs a little more practice in the saddle”.
On Yer Bike has been commissioned by Head of Entertainment Katie Rawcliffe and Kevin O’Brien, Commissioning Editor Entertainment. Executive Producers for Crackit Productions are Jon Connerty and Elaine Hackett and Katy Manley for Initial, who also produce ITV’s Soccer Aid for UNICEF.
Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment, ITV, said: “We’re thrilled to have two sporting greats head up this brand new show which promises to entertain our viewers as celebrities push themselves outside their comfort zones and hop on two wheels…all in aid of a good cause.”
Elaine Hackett, CEO, Crackit Productions said: “Having been cooped up for so long, we were desperate to launch this format which really celebrates the personal freedom and mental and physical benefits that pedal power brings. Seeing how our celebrity teams cope with life in the saddle promises to be challenging and possibly a wee bit chaffing!”
Steven Waugh, Interim Executive Director at the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), said: “Everyone at UNICEF is grateful to ITV for commissioning this exciting new TV show to help children around the world. This year, Soccer Aid for UNICEF has its biggest goal ever as the Covid crisis is making life for children in the world’s poorest countries even harder – the support of the ITV viewers is vital and every pound we raise from the show is another strike against the pandemic. It’s us against Covid for every child, everywhere”.